In 2021, smartphone users in India not only warmed up to e-learning but also voice and audio-based platforms, if trends from the latest Google Play’s Best of 2021 announcement are anything to go by.
Every year, Google Play’s Best of winners highlight the very best in app and game development globally. This year, too, winners were selected across the developer ecosystem to reiterate that a great app or game can come from anywhere, Brett Bouchard, global head of editorial, Google Play, explains in a blog post. In India, Google saw a diverse range of apps help people across the country with relevant – and often unique – solutions to their daily needs, Bouchard writes.
Google Play Editors’ pick for the best app of the year in India in 2021 is Bitclass, a platform that enables interactive cohort-based learning. According to Bouchard, this also reiterated the emergence of a digital learning culture in India, powered by innovative localized solutions. Meanwhile, audio social app Clubhouse emerged as the users’ choice app of the year winner in India. This showcased India’s rising fondness for voice and audio-based platforms, Bouchard writes in the blog post.
Some winners in other categories, apps such as EMBIBE, which uses AI to scale student learning outcomes, and FrontRow, which offers celebrity-led courses across music, comedy and sports, also showed how users in India were finding different ways to enhance their skills online. EMBIBE was one of the winners in the best apps for personal growth category, while FrontRow made it to the best apps for fun category.
Health and well-being were two other categories that interested Indian users in 2021. Apps like Jumping Minds, Evolve, being, SARVA, and Evergreen Club, which help people better manage their mental health and well-being, were some of the winners across multiple categories -- ‘best apps for everyday essentials’, ‘best apps for personal growth’, and so on.
As usual, gaming was a category that cannot be overlooked in India. Garena Free Fire MAX, the popular battle royale game, emerged as the users’ choice game of 2021 (India). Battlegrounds Mobile India, which was previously known as PUBG Mobile India, was chosen as the best game of 2021 in India by Google Play Editors.
Mobile gaming has seen an exponential rise in its popularity in India in recent times. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group and Sequoia India said that the gaming industry in India has seen a growth of almost 40% in 2019-20. Indian mobile gaming, according to the report, is set to be a $5-billion industry by 2025.